Never Too Young

HenriReflections take me to moments where I remember my five-year-old self handing over changes to customers from their small school supplies purchases from our humble store, how I meddled with conversations over negotiations on mom’s and dad’s sales and purchases asking what are these and those, and how I had always gone to kindergarten with my big bag plus a big plastic container full of to-be-sold banana cues and barbeques my mom cooked early in the morning and would remit the proceeds after my class in the afternoon.

Those awesome business matters slowly revealed to me that Math – my favorite subject in my academic life – was all involved all throughout the process. And that my even more favorite subject – Management – was beginning to stir and kick it all in me.

These business ins and outs, idea generations, and operational improvements are the things I know I want and enjoy doing. Thanks to my Alma Maters, DWCB, and Saint Louis University (SLU)-Baguio for giving me so much opportunities to learn and to be in business case and business idea competitions.

These are my reasons why I wanted to be a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), not because it is a requirement for me to do these things, but is a license to open new doors for learning.

However, I did not know how to become one of the CMAs, and where to apply for it. These are the times then that God works. Sir Angel Secerio and the Insights Financial Review team came up with a CMA Quiz Bowl and my batchmates gave it a chance. It was free.

Emerging to be in the Top 75 of the Quiz Bowl, I was more interested to know what CMA was. I had simple e-mail conversations with Sir Angel, and in a short time, Sir Angel opened an opportunity for one of the credentials I was aching for: The CMA title.

I signified my big interest on the matter and had consulted with my parents. They all asked what it is and why it is needed. Debates filled our room and we finally came to a conclusion – both the CPA and CMA credentials are to be targeted and earned by October 2014.

Pressures and time demands from the CPA exam review made the CMA journey more difficult. Weekdays were for the CPA review in Sampaloc, Manila, and weekends were for the CMA review in Makati. Transportation was painful to the body and to the pocket, but all I thought was I entered this in the first place and I wanted it.

My friend from SLU – Reinerio Belarmino III, all my co-CPAs-turned-CMAs friends from DLSU – Dasmarinas, and all ates and kuyas who also reviewed were with me in the journey, and they all made the journey a lot easier.

The most critical point was reviewing for the CMA while waiting for the CPA results. All possible feelings were present – excitement, nervousness, anxiety; everything, even stomachaches.

Then the days came – October 28 and 31, 2014. All the nervousness sank in. I did not concentrate eating my breakfast because of the nervousness, and all I wanted was to have a good fight and finish the exam.

There were all sorts of complex security inspections, plus a hassle time processing your exams in the testing center. This was because I think it was a first that our batch was so big they did not expect such a number. But all these were part of it and I could never back out.

Four hours straight of multiple choice exams and essays for each of the two parts and you would just want to lie down and sleep after. The exam was so challenging, not to mention that the allowable calculator was just the basic one.

Audit work started early November for me and a morning e-mail check on December 12 made my day. I passed the CMA exams. Seriously, I passed both parts of the CMA Exam. Finally, I made it!

I told my family and my mom responded via SMS how happy and tearful she was when she read my text.

It takes just the right amount of determination, perseverance, and prayer, and the right coaching to get something you want. I never expected to get two titles by taking two exams in a single month. And when you get where you wanted, never forget to thank the people who pushed you to the top.

No one is too young or old for accomplishments. And no one is too young or old to learn something. We can never be discouraged if someone throws we are too young that we still do not know anything. Yes, there is so much to know, but there is also so much to share at a young age, especially our perspectives. If not now, then when do we start?

At 22, having the title was just the beginning. The rest of life must be spent contributing more greatly to the development of the world.


The author, Henri Lomeus N. Ching, is a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate of Saint Louis University in Baguio. He is currently working as an Audit Associate at SyCip, Gorres, Velayo and Company (SGV), CPAs based in Makati, Philippines.

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